Best Baits for Bass Fishing on Table Rock Lake

In the month of April for tournament bass anglers fishing in the Ozarks, one common theme that comes to mind when preparing for tournaments, is how will the spawn be a factor? The spawn is usually going to be in full swing in the month of April around the lakes in the Ozark mountains. Table Rock Lake, in Missouri, is no exception to this. In fact, in the month of April most anglers are going to be bed fishing because of the warmer weather, moon phases, longer days, and Table Rock Lake’s notorious clear water. In this blog we are going to focus on how tournament anglers can capitalize in tournaments in the month of April while fishing the spawn. Also, make sure to read to the bottom to see How Revital Outdoors Premium CBD Products help anglers fishing Table Rock Lake.

Fishing the spawn is something that many tournament anglers try to avoid, however in the month of April in the Ozark mountains the tournaments that are seen on the lakes in this region will have a number of anglers up shallow with their Power Poles down looking at fish on beds. There is no real way to avoid not fishing the spawn on Table Rock Lake because it has such a healthy population of Largemouth and Spotted Bass, as well as Smallmouth Bass, and it has very clear water. It is a perfect opportunity for tournament anglers to run around the banks of Table Rock Lake during practice and try to locate the kicker fish for their tournament in the upcoming weekend.  Anglers will often be seen rigging baits without hooks during practice and pitch them onto the beds just to see how reactive the big females are relating to a bed. Areas that anglers need to look for to find prime bedding locations are the backs of creeks, shallow water coves, and cuts in the lake that are close to the river channel. The majority of these areas on Table Rock Lake are found around the center of the lake. Many anglers consider this the mid-lake area. A lot of tournament anglers on Table Rock Lake are going to go off history when trying to find the areas holding the most bedding fish. However, for anglers that have never been to Table Rock Lake in the month of April, they are going to want to spend a good amount of time running the banks and learning as much as they can about the shallow water areas of Table Rock Lake. This all starts with a good topographical lake map before anglers hit the lake in practice. Locating shallow water areas, backs of creeks, or coves that are adjacent to the river channel; these are all important details  anglers will want to figure out ahead of time and zone their time in on once they start practice. 
 
Once anglers find the areas they are looking for and put together a game plan of attack in practice, they will spend very little time actually fishing and more time looking at these areas trying to locate bass locked up on beds. The majority of time they will find a big female locked up on the bed with a smaller male swimming and circling around in the area. The male is going to be the most aggressive and often is the first fish that anglers catch in a tournament when bed fishing. Once that male is gone, often the female will become more aggressive and easier to catch. However, this is not the case all of the time. In some instances, this will cause the female to be more nervous and swim off the bed, and it’s hard to get her to come back. Other things anglers will be looking for is a male and a female circling in the bed. This is often referred to as “doing their thing”. This is often a great thing to look for when bed fishing because both male and a female will be very aggressive at this point. Finally, the other thing anglers are going to find are females and males that are swimming around a bed but not locked on. These are the hardest fish to catch because they have not locked into the bed quite yet. However, this is a good thing to locate in practice because by the time the tournament starts these fish could be locked on the bed.  

When it comes to bait selection for bed fishing on Table Rock Lake in the month of April, this really kind of depends on what the angler really wants to throw. Bed fishing is often referred to as, throwing the kitchen sink at them. Many anglers will throw creature style soft plastic baits, jigs, crawfish soft plastics, drop shots, and even sometimes frogs to capture bedding fish to bite. The majority of time however, anglers are throwing soft plastics in on the bed and getting those big female and males to react. Sometimes anglers will use white or bright chartreuse soft plastic colors so that they can see the bait in the bed and know when the fish bites. But sometimes the bright colors will affect a fish biting. When this happens anglers will trade back to more natural colors such as green pumpkin or watermelon red. Watermelon candy is also a very popular color on Table Rock Lake. Another tip for anglers fishing the spawn on Table Rock Lake and targeting bed fish is to put multiple different baits on the deck of their boat that they can circle through when trying to entice bedding fish into biting.  Very rarely can an angler throw only one style of soft plastic bait and get bedding fish to bite on just one lure.   
 
The last piece of advice for bed fishing on Table Rock Lake in the month of April for a tournament is to have a lot of patience. Tournament regulations require the fish to be hooked on the inside of the mouth. And many times, bass will pick up a bait and move it out of the bed, blow dust and dirt onto the bait trying to move it off the bed or pick up the bait and not fully get the hook. This is going to cause anglers to foul hook fish outside of the mouth, which means the angler has to release that fish.  And once that happens, it’s over. So, anglers will want to be patient, take their time, and ensure that the fish does bite their bait before setting the hook.

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